Sharjah’s global efforts to encourage literary movements and the richness of Emirati and Arab cultures will all be under the spotlight of Latin America’s largest book fair next year. In a recent announcement made by the Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) organisers on Tuesday, the emirate has been named guest of honour of FIL’s 34th edition, to be held Nov 28 – Dec 6, 2020.
A press conference was organised by the University of Guadalajara (UDG), in Mexico, to make the big announcement. HE Ahmed Bin Rakkad Al Ameri, the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) Chairman; Raúl Padilla López; President of FIL; Héctor Raúl Solís Gadea, Deputy Rector of UDG, Marisol Schulz Manaut, General Director of FIL; and 350-plus authors, publishers and media representatives were in attendance.
During a keynote speech at the press conference, HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, SBA Chairman, said: The efforts of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, UAE Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, over more than 40 years, have taken the Emirati and Arab cultures to the farthest corners of the world. We are here in Mexico today as we are passionate about continuing these tremendous efforts. As guest of honour at FIL 2020, we will be bringing His Highness’s message of fostering love, tolerance and coexistence through culture to the beautiful Mexican community.
“Together, we will build new a new bridge of friendship between UAE and Mexico, which will stand on strong pillars of culture.”
“The results of all our efforts to is to shine the beacon of Sharjah’s and UAE’s cultural uniqueness brightly on different parts of the world, have been tremendous in recent years," he added.
Al Ameri noted that by bringing Emirati and Latin cultures on one platform at FIL 2020, Sharjah and Mexico will be turning a new leaf in our longstanding friendship.
Sharjah is preparing a comprehensive cultural programme, which will highlight past and recent accomplishments in Emirati and Arab literature in the Latin America. The emirate will also be exploring possible collaborations with Mexico in publishing and translation sectors.
"We are honoured to have the emirate of Sharjah accept our invitation to be our guest of honour in 2020. We are particularly excited that Emirati and Arab culture will be our guests , as we want the fair to be a window through which Latin Americans can rediscover the richness of their literature, language, art and traditions. We believe that this wonderful event will strengthen the publishing industries of our countries”, explained Raúl Padilla López, President of FIL.
He also added, “Sharjah is a publishing leader and its initiatives to promote reading are exemplary, particularly those that deal with making books more accessible for young adults and the migrant populations”. He also highlighted that the Sharjah International Book Fair, organised by the Book Authority since 1982, is considered the most important in the Arab world.
“Inviting Sharjah is undoubtedly an act to strengthen ties. Without these efforts, civilisation would not be as inspiring as it is today. We will be richer intellectually, deeper culturally and wiser literary once Sharjah is the guest of honour of our Fair” said Héctor Raúl Solís Gadea, Deputy Rector of UDG, in his welcome speech.
For her part, Marisol Schulz Manaut, Director of Guadalajara International Book Fair, commented: "With this decision to welcome Sharjah in 2020, the FIL is meeting its internationalisation objective, since we are taking Guadalajara’s name to more far off cultures every year”.
The FIL Guadalajara, founded in 1987, is the largest Spanish language event of its kind and is the annual event for 20,000 book professionals from 47 countries. Over nine days, the event welcomes 800 authors, and last year, 818,000 visitors attended the knowledge and arts extravaganza with Portugal as the Guest of Honour.